David Ross has stood down from his 2012 Olympic roles after reports that he used his shares in Carphone Warehouse as collateral against personal loans without informing his fellow directors.
Mr Ross was appointed to the Board of LOCOG and as chair of the Legacy Board of Advisors by Mayor Boris Johnson and is widely admired as one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs.
In an email to Mayor Johnson Ross said: “I reach this decision with sadness, as I have very much enjoyed making this contribution to British sport, which has been a lifelong passion. However, given the present circumstances, and while they are not connected to the Olympics, I must now devote my full attention to my private business interests. I also do not wish to distract others from the important work still to do in making 2012 the success I know it will be.”
Mayor Johnson said Ross would “be a loss”. IN a statement issued by City Hall the Mayor said: “I am particularly grateful to him for identifying serious issues with the 2012 Olympic Games that needed to be urgently addressed. His report into planning the delivery of the legacy of the Games helped the entire Olympic family to focus on a range of pressing concerns, including security, budget and legacy.”
Darren Johnson, who represents the Green Party on the London Assembly, said Ross’s continued presence on the boards “would have turned 2012 into a laughing stock” but said the decision, which follows a number of high profile departures from City Hall, “raises serious questions about Boris Johnson’s judgement and his ability to put a competent administration together.”
Since Johnson was elected he’s suffered the enforced resignations of ‘deputy mayor’ Ray Lewis and Deputy Chief of Staff James McGrath. Tim Parker, brought in as ‘First deputy mayor’ and given a job description many critics suggested was a delegation of the Mayor’s entire job, has also stepped down.
Labour’s deputy leader on the Assembly John Biggs said “Having now lost almost as many advisers as he’s appointed, the serious questions about Boris’s judgement show no signs of going away.”
“The Mayor and the Conservative Party have put great faith in various city millionaire friends. Cases like this show that this faith is misplaced and their judgement lacking.”
Dee Doocey, Liberal Democrat London Assembly and Olympics spokesperson, said: “A person who has problems with his own financial dealings, and has had to resign from the company he co-owned as a result, is surely not the right person to be overseeing the costs of the Olympics on behalf of Londoners. Boris Johnson should seek a replacement; someone in who we can all have confidence.”